Merseyside Police unveil £130m redevelopment

A new £44m centre in Speke to tackle serious and organised crime and the £26m refurbishment of the headquarters in Canning Place are among the massive estate renewal plans announced by Merseyside Police's commissioner and chief constable.

The operation command centre in Speke, south Liverpool, will bring together teams that form the Matrix Serious & Organised Crime unit under one roof.

The 10-year plan is aimed at producing savings of £2.5m a year from the current running cost of £12m.

A two-month public consultation into the plans has now started.

Merseyside Police's estate consists of 78 buildings, with an average age of 52 years and some dating back to 1890. The last police station built on Merseyside was the station on Stanley Road, Kirkdale, in the 1970s.

New or refurbished area headquarters will be provided in each of the five local authority areas – Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Liverpool and Knowsley – and community police stations will be developed where old police stations are currently closed to the public.

Community police stations have been piloted in St Helens, where the force said anti-social behaviour and relationships with the public have improved. The intention is to roll this model out across the region, providing modern facilities which are regularly open to local people.

The headquarters building next to the bus station at Liverpool ONE has been the subject of several reviews over many years with the force considering sale and relocation to a new facility out of town but always deciding to stay.

Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: "Austerity has forced us to review every aspect of the police estate. Merseyside Police has been harder hit than most. By 2018, we predict government cutbacks will have forced Merseyside Police to lose 29% of its people – officers, PCSOs and staff. Already 60% of our buildings are empty or under used and this is only going to increase.

"We simply cannot lose so many people without also looking at the buildings and facilities that they use. The current police estate is unsustainable. It is ageing and becoming increasingly expensive to run.

"While these drastic and devastating cutbacks have presented us with significant challenges, we also believe this is a really exciting opportunity to transform the estate – making Merseyside Police even more accessible for the people of our region."

Mace Group advises Merseyside Police.

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